chronic illness and the academy

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Chronic Academics

Towards an Exhausted Sociology

By Keith Kahn-Harris My entire career as a sociologist has been carried out in the face of exhaustion. In 1993, in my second year as an undergraduate, I developed glandular fever (‘mono’ for American readers) and I have never fully recovered. Over time, post-viral malaise progressed into ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and it has been […]

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Performing the Disabled Body in Academia

By Luke Walker Since my diagnosis with Crohn’s disease in autumn 2015, the central challenge has been finding ways to perform invisible disability. There is much to say sociologically about a willingness to be seen, yet the semiotics of body politics and performance in favour of being seen has been most explicit in university. The […]

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Chronic Academics

Learning and Unlearning Invisibility

By Rose Richards I had a transplant when I was 22. I have now had my kidney for more than half my life and my medical condition is stable. However, it took many years for me to be able to write about or to be able to explore the impact of my invisible medical condition […]

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Being a Housebound Digital Academic

By Anna Wood I have been housebound with a chronic health condition (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, ME) since 2008. Yet over the last few years I’ve published three papers and submitted a fourth, given a number of conference talks and reviewed for some top journals. I have even recently started a paid research position, 5 hours per […]

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The Foundation of a Chronic Academic

By Amarpreet Kaur I made it three months into the first year of my Bachelors degree when a disc in my neck succumbed to the pressure of swelling and prolapsed to compress my spinal cord. I had been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition four months earlier, but that was not the anticipated prognosis. My […]

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Race and Disability in the Academy

By Moya Bailey I have, until recently, worked in disability studies as an accomplice, understanding myself as able-bodied and as someone who does not have physical impairments that impact my daily movement through the world. I have however been diagnosed with a chronic illness that is changing the way I understand myself and is surfacing much […]

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Chronic Academics

On Good Days, I Am Excited

By Anna Ruddock I am beginning this on a bad day. Not the worst kind of bad day – I am, after all, typing, and therefore thinking, albeit slowly, sludgily. How to describe this? Each time I try, I express it differently. Today it is as though my brain is a cautious thing; a wounded […]

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Chronic Academics

Making Visible: Chronic Illness and the Academy

By Anna Ruddock Chronically ill academics are not invisible. We are everywhere: as students, teachers, and colleagues. And neither are our illnesses invisible. Not really. Not if you come to know us; if you learn what to look for, to listen for, to ask. Less visible, but insidious and disabling, is the ableism that ensures […]

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